Fans from all around the United States write on “Jersey Shore” forums that Snooki is too fat and needs to lose weight. This is an example of how our society feels that celebrities – even ones on reality TV – need to be as thin as Jennifer Aniston or Kate Hudson to be considered a normal weight.
Snooki is not ultra-thin (though she could do her skin a favor and cut back on tanning a little bit), but many girls throughout the U.S. aren’t. Snooki from the “Jersey Shore” is not a model. She is a reality TV star and the reality is, the average American woman weighs 140 pounds and wears a size 14.
Snooki’s Battle with an Eating Disorder
According to US Magazine, Snooki from the “Jersey Shore” had an eating disorder in high school. The actress, who is 4 foot 9 inches, stopped eating and went from 98 pounds to 80 pounds. The school nurse eventually contacted her parents, who encouraged her to gain the weight back.
As of June 2010, Snooki weighed 110 pounds and started the cookie diet to make it back down to 100 pounds, according to the Huffington Post. A person who is 4 foot 9 inches who weighs 110 pounds has a BMI of 23.8, is considered within the normal weight range. This is what medical professionals encourage teen girls to strive for. The next step below a normal weight would be underweight.
Is the “Jersey Shore” Promoting Eating Disorders?
On the “Jersey Shore,” Snooki has been ridiculed for her weight by Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. There is a good chance that The Situation’s criticism of the “Jersey Shore” star’s weight could negatively be impacting teens and young women who watch the show. It may be promoting anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa among those who want to lose weight because they want to look as good – or better – than Snooki.
Young men on the “Jersey Shore” fan forums say things like, “Snooki would be pretty if she lost weight.” This sends out the clear message that girls must strive to be below Snooki’s weight for men to find them desirable which, one again, may be promoting eating disorders.
Eating Disorders and Other Reality TV Shows
The messages that Hollywood sends to our society are thought to be partially responsible for eating disorders among teens and young adults. Reality TV stars may not be as popular as, say, Jennifer Aniston, but they are also very influential. When “The Hills” was on, young girls wanted to be as perfect as Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, and Audrina Patridge. When the “Simple Life” was on, girls wanted to be as flawless as Paris Hilton and when Nicole Richie lost a lot of weight, she became a “thinspiration” for many girls.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that Snooki does not need to lose weight. She may look heavier than the other actresses on the “Jersey Shore” because she is significantly shorter. However, her weight is within the normal weight range according to the BMI calculator and as long as she is happy with who she is, her fans should be too.